The appalling case of a 14-year-old rape victim whose family was driven from their home after her teenage attacker was allowed to walk with no charges swept the internet over the past couple of days.
Now the lieutenant governor of Missouri, where the attack took place, wants a new grand jury investigation into the horrific charges.
Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder issued his call after the state’s attorney general, Chris Koster, released a statement through a press operative saying that he was powerless to do anything about the case.
Online protests, including by the loose network of activists and hackers known as Anonymous, made the case a national cause overnight.
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“I am disappointed that the Attorney General would wash his hands of the matter through a brief statement by a spokesman,” wrote Kinder. “The appalling facts in the public record shock the conscience and cry out that responsible authorities must take another look.”
Earlier, Koster Spokesperson Nanci Gonder had issued a statement on behalf of her boss.
“The Attorney General’s Office does not have the authority under the laws of the state of Missouri to review a prosecutor's discretionary decisions in particular cases,” Gonder said.
Kinder is a Republican. Koster is a Democrat.
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The Maryville, Mo., case of Daisy Coleman exploded into public consciousness Monday when the media, including Opposing Views, seized on a detailed report that appeared over the weekend in the Kansas City Star newspaper.
The newspaper reported that in January of last year, a local high school football star, Matthew Barnett, raped the severely intoxicated Coleman after giving her a large glass of an alcoholic drink. A friend of Barnetts’, Jordan Zech, filmed the sexual assault on a iPhone, the Star reported. The boys then dumped the girl in front her house, leaving her in just a T-shirt and sweatpants despite sub-freezing temperatures.
Though the two boys confessed to police, Daisy and her family became the target of harassment both in-person and online. Her mother, Melinda Coleman (pictured, left, with Daisy), was fired from her job at a local veterinarian. They family eventually moved but before they could sell their house, it burned down in an unexplained fire.
However, prosecutors dropped all charges against the boys saying they had “insufficient evidence.”
Barnett’s grandfather is a former four-term member of Missouri’s state legislator with political ties to the prosecutor who dropped the charges. But both men denied allegations of political favors or meddling in the case.
Watch KSHB’s report on the latest developments in the case, below.